Auto Service World
Feature   June 1, 2000   by Bob Blans


I thoroughly enjoyed attending the AIA convention and CIA Show in Montreal in April.

Even though the convention was only a one-day event, it was jam-packed with good speakers and information. Many of the people I talked to said they liked the new shorter convention format during a show year. It means less time away from home and business.

Next year’s big event will be the AIA Convention in Penticton, B.C. I spoke to some of the organizers who were promoting the event in Montreal, and it sounds like it’s going to be interesting, informative and a lot of fun. It’s a great destination.

Of the many highlights, the presentation by John Cochrane of John Cochrane Automotive on the Drive Clean Program stood out, despite the fact that he has spoken on the subject a number of times.

His seminar brought out 150 people when it was presented at the AIA Southwestern Ontario Division’s meeting prior to the AIA convention. That is a record turnout, according to Dave Elliott, the immediate past chairman of the division. Dave is currently the chairman of the Information Technology Committee; the new Southwestern Ontario Division chairman is Scott McKenzie of Dana Corporation.

Dave is excited about his role on the Information Technology Committee and he says the committee’s goal is to have an Internet-enabled computer in every jobber store, as a new source of information on new market trends and technology.

“It will facilitate better communications among WDs, manufacturers and jobbers. It gives manufacturers more incentive to put more information on their websites. For example, they could add Material Safety Data Sheets and all types of other information useful to jobbers,” Dave explains. To restrict the information to the target audience, jobbers would be given a password to get access. The committee is also discussing ways to provide more market data on the AIA web site.


Cy Russell, the Manitoba/Saskatchewan field representative, reports that the Manitoba Division in conjunction with the Automotive Trades Association of Manitoba held an informative meeting on the MAP (Motorist Assurance Program) and IDL (Interactive Distance Learning).

You are all aware that Cy received the AIA Distinguished Service Award in Montreal.

Congratulations to Cy on receiving such a great and well deserved honor.

Sandy Ross at Alexander Auto Parts in Downsview, Ont., is the new chairman of the Central Ontario Division. He has been in the automotive business for 25 years and has been an active AIA volunteer for the past eight years. Recently the Division hosted a well-attended University of the Aftermarket jobber-training seminar. Sandy says the division would like to thank the university’s Chuck Udell for a very interesting program.

This from Peter Gilchrist in the B.C. Interior: He says Myron Watson, a longtime UAP/NAPA sales manager for the area, has retired. Ralph Wilson organized a gathering in his honor. About 100 people attended to wish Myron well and a happy retirement. Peter and the B.C Interior Division also wish to congratulate Dennis Wyatt and family members on winning the Jobber News “Jobber of the Year Award.”

Lilloet, B.C. has a new Uni-Select member. Sasko Auto and Industrial Supply opened for business in late April. Sandra McNairie is the owner/operator.

Michel Tremblay in Montreal informs us that the Quebec government has created an organization to manage the collection and recycling of used oil, filters and related containers. The Quebec program resembles programs that are now in place in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Note: If you have any information to contribute to this column please call Bob Blans at (905) 844-8616, Fax (905) 844-8731, E-Mail to or write to Across Canada Report c/o Jobber News Magazine, 1450 Don Mills Rd., Don Mills, ON M3B 2X7. In addition to AIA Division activities we are interested in hearing from you about the opening of a new business, change of ownership, expansions etc.

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